Star Citizen's Complaints To Federal Trade Commission Are Rooted in Development Mismanagement

Published: May 2, 2019 12:29 PM /


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Last December we reported that Star Citizen's Crytek lawsuit could be coming to a close. Now a report by PC Games Insider has uncovered that the United States Federal Trade Commission has received 129 complaints about Star Citizen. The colossal multiplayer space-trading flight simulator was first announced as a Kickstarter campaign in 2012. Since then, the development of the game has bloated to gargantuan proportions, as crowdfunding stretched way beyond the Kickstarter campaign to set the 2014 Guinness World Record in for the sum of US$39,680,576 as the "largest single amount ever raised via crowdsourcing."

Since then, according to the official website, the game has raised a total of $244.5 million from crowdfunding, of which $39 million were raised in 2018, and that's on top of a $46 million private investment. However, the complaints to the Federal Trade Commission refer to sums up to $24,000. Some backers' complaints mention the game's terrible performance and the fact that it seems stuck in a perpetual alpha state. Some even claim it barely runs.

An exclusive report by Forbes was also published yesterday, which includes interviews with former members of the Star Citizen development team, and the common thread seems to be a lack of focus and the overall feature creep. Chris Roberts, the Origin Systems veteran, who was the creator of the seminal Wing Commander franchise, is described as a "bad manager" who makes the development a chaotic process. As the crowdfunding capital rolled in, Roberts kept promising content that the team isn't able to deliver on schedule.

The FTC complaints and the complaints from team members build on top of an issue that was previously mentioned in a leaked letter from David Jennison, a former 3D artist in the Star Citizen team, which is mentioned in the Forbes report. Jennison tried to explain to HR why he completed only five characters in 17 months. "All the decisions for the character pipeline and approach had been made by Roberts. It became clear that this was a company-wide pattern—Chris Roberts dictates all."

What do you think of the general state of Star Citizen? Were you a backer? Do you have any complaints? Let us know in the comments below!

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Richard Costa
| Staff Writer

Hack for hire, indentured egghead, maverick thoughtcriminal. Mainly interested in Western RPGs, first-person immersion, turn-based tactics, point-and-… More about Richard